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Sacandaga group considers federal senior housing grant

June 5, 2009
By ZACH SUBAR, The Leader-Herald

NORTHVILLE - The Sacandaga Task Force for Senior Living wants to help secure a federal grant that would bring about 25 senior housing apartments to the village.

At a membership meeting last week, board Vice President James Conkling said the task force would try to work with either the Johnstown-based Community Heritage Corp. or the Poughkeepsie-based Maranatha Human Services to apply for the grant, which is for low-income senior housing.

The grant would come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant process is a competitive one, but Conkling said he is optimistic.

"Our chances are very, very good," Conkling said Tuesday.

In order to get the grant, Conkling said the task force must demonstrate there is someone who is willing to sell a piece of land on which the housing eventually will be built.

Last October, Maranatha offered to buy land from American Legion Post 1076 in order to build senior housing, but was rejected by the legion, which decided not to sell its land.

Conkling said the task force soon would decide whether to work with Maranatha or Community Heritage to attempt to get the grant. He said the organizations do the grant application and help find a property for the housing. If the grant application is successful, the chosen organization will manage the property as well.

"What makes this so attractive ... really are the services that are provided in this community," Conkling said, noting that Northville is not as rural as other Adirondack communities.

He said there is not a great deal of senior housing in the area, a problem he said will be exacerbated in the next 10 to 15 years as the general population in the Adirondacks begins to age.

A new report, called the Adirondack Park Regional Assessment Project, is expected to be released soon. One of its conclusions is that the park's population will decline in coming years, thanks to the aging populace. Conkling said the report could help the task force with the demographic statistics it needs to provide to the federal government to make its grant application more attractive.

"Once you put it in, it's a matter of wait and hope," Conkling said. "We have high hopes."

Zach Subar covers rural Fulton County news. He can be reached at



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